I think there’s a sense of safety when putting energy into something that’s latent and/or hidden as it immediately makes it low stakes. Other more open routes to success contain fear of failure, but also a fear of going after something that won’t give you the same buzz or edge. There’s a thrill seeking element but it’s also about containing and confining it to a success zone. Keeping this success zone private also means that there’s no risk that someone might try and take it away from you. There’s so much risk in putting any kind of desire or chance for failure out into the public domain.
Then when we change the terminology and replace “success zone” with “comfort zone”, we begin to understand a whole lot more about the whole process. It’s not about being successful within a quiet, hidden space, but more about being squirrelled away from the vagaries of chance and competition.
Of course, some of what needs to change is the framing of the success pathway: on what sort of timescale should we be expecting responses and returns and rewards? How hard should things be? Things like social media have wired us for instant success and against delayed gratification. A lack of instant reward can feel almost as crushing as any form of failure.
But living in this zone is like wanting a cheeseburger at an all-you-can-eat buffet. You could have anything but all you want is the cheeseburger. It isn’t going to be the best, but it’s what you know. The retreat to safety is a hard habit to break. However, framed in these terms you can see the appeal of the familiar, and also the potential glimmering rewards of the unknown.
Picture something that needs to change for you. Think about the pros and cons of putting yourself out there to get it. Then view it in the frame of the following quote: “Risk implies the possibility of the best, which only exists, of course, because of the possibility of its opposite.” Do you now see the way to go?